Social media not the platform to advise people: Imams

Azlan Othman

Imams yesterday urged the public to not resort to social media platforms like Whatsapp, Facebook or Twitter to advise others.

“When using the social media, we must be wise with the words used. The words must be appropriate as social media is a public domain and an open forum that can invite various perceptions, assumptions and views either positive or negative,” they said.

The imams said it is better to give advice in person and not through a third person.

“Advising should be done with courtesy and with good manners or else it will create misunderstanding, quarrels and conflicts,” the imams said in their Friday sermon yesterday.

They added that this is in line with the aspirations of living in a community which is to advice a person who commits wrongdoings and so on.

“Not all can accept advice or criticism. But one should accept advice with an open mind. Our intention is not to expose one’s flaws or weaknesses, to punish, to demoralise, as revenge or any other ill-intention. We would not want such advice to lead to disintegration and chaos in the family.”

The imams also said the person advising should be wise.

“If one tries to find another person’s flaws or weakness, Allah the Almighty will expose ours. We should maintain friendly ties. We should also not take one side,” they said.

The imams also called people advising to correct their attitude and characteristics before correcting others.

“Those advising must be calm and not in an angry mood or emotional. They should also not make absurd remarks. This would not solve the problem but aggravate the situation,” the imams said.

“Islam also urges to use courteous words, not to raise our voice or criticise or humiliate others in front of the public. Advice should be given privately. Our intention is not to expose one’s flaws but to create awareness. One who advises must also seek forgiveness thereafter so that it will not displease the person being advised or make him down-hearted. In addition, one should not be prejudiced when advising,” they said.

“We do not live forever. We will receive blessings in the hereafter if we carry out good deeds and will receive dire consequences and punishment if otherwise. Let us pray for a harmonious life, unity and receive blessings and safety at present and in the hereafter,” the imams said.